The Lord’s Day

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”

Psalm 121:1

Yesterday was such a beautiful Lord’s Day that I must share it with you all.

Usually on the Lord’s Day we make a special effort not to do any kind of labor that is not especially required (such as chores, cooking dishes, and sometimes laundry). We aren’t legalistic about what to do or what not to do – sometimes we even make an exception and sell/buy something on the Lord’s Day – but we try to set aside a special day for Jesus; especially from the usual work and labor of the week (like cleaning house, doing yard work, working on our jobs/paper work for our jobs, even usually sewing or doing things like making soap etc. – you get the idea.)

Yesterday was a special day for all of us, though. We have visitors coming next Saturday and will be working all week, so only able to fit in preparations for their visit late in the evenings when we come home and are so tired. So yesterday, even if it was the Lord’s Day, we did a little special sewing and a few other things.

And enjoyed it. 🙂 I think the important thing about reverencing the Lord’s Day is that we set it aside for Him. If we do have to work, it should be something that is not all-consuming; something we can set aside if need be, and something we can enjoy as we do it.

And I don’t think I have to mention how much we enjoy sewing, cheesemaking, trying new things, cooking, or anything else that pertains to homemaking. 😀

005

Of course we had our usual chores.

We have begun weaning our seven bottle babies, so even with the cow drinking two gallons a day we’re getting much more fresh, delicious, rich goats’ milk than we can ever use!

We’re keeping most of the milk in the mornings and making cheese out of it in preparation for Saturday – as well as making soap and hopefully later this week we’ll get to make Mama some cajeta! 🙂 She loves caramel. 🙂

We did have a sad side of chores yesterday morning though.

007

Excuse the bad picture, but this is trying to show the eggshells and feathers we found from our destroyed hen and her brood of 20 or so eggs. Some varmint got in the barn last night and busted up all the eggs with chicks in them and made off with the hen as well. Needless to say, this was very discouraging.

010

The cheesemaking as well was discouraging.

Simple mozzarella gone wrong. Sigh…. Just wasn’t our day I guess. We accidentally left the curd too long in the rennet while we were dressing and preparing for morning services. It was difficult to cut and stretching was impossible. But still, its cheese. It mightn’t be mozzarella  but its cheese and we’ll enjoy it on onion sandwiches – or maybe even pizza! 😀

039

The rest of the day, however, was a quiet joy.

(Excuse the tiny pictures; Iphone has its own mind sometimes….)

We went out and picked roses and lemon balm to try our hand at essential oils and Daddy showed us the plants he’s been working on in his spare time.

033

We both enjoyed wearing our new dresses we finished Saturday. 🙂

016

021

The roses and lemon balm were cut up, bruised and cooked for long hours in olive oil in the oven and crock pot.

We poured it up into jars last night but did not remove the leaves.

We’ll do that today, Lordwilling, and see how it turns out. Our roses were not very aromatic, but it did smell ok by the time it was done cooking but the lemon balm oil smelled much better!

While that was cooking we had a nice, sweet visit with some very dear friends, the Clarkes. They visit about once every two weeks and buy eggs from us and we sit and chat and exchange plants. 🙂 Daddy and Mrs. Clarke are both very avid gardeners. 🙂

042

Daddy came down to the barn in the evening and helped us block off the remaining broody hen’s nest with all her eggs in it. She had deserted them and was laying on new ones. All we can do is pray that the older ones weren’t chilled; we put them back under her.

It was a blessing having Daddy down at the barn last night. He’s not all that involved in the animals – goats aren’t his favorite four-leggers 🙂 – but I think he really saw the work and love we put into the animals last night; we stood around at least a half hour just petting the goats and talking about their individualities.

It was a lovely evening.

045

Before evening service we cut up the batch of soap we made Saturday. (Its the batch in the front). Our supplies are supposed to come Tuesday. I can’t wait – we’ll be soapmaking like crazy then! 🙂

054

After service we finished the evening with a family movie time; Abbot and Cosetllo’s Who done it? 

It was a special time we all enjoyed together – and the movie was great. 😀

I love my family, and I love the times we spend together – surrounded by the things we love and the animals we love and the things we love to do.

At home.

Advertisements

Too Many New Things to count!

Thursday we went up on a hurried day-trip to north of Asheville, NC.
Its more than three hours from here – way, way up in the mountains. 
Its been a while since we went so far on those winding, twisting mountain roads….
But it was worth it! 🙂

The Lord Jesus blessed us with three new goats.
Purebred, registered Saanens. 
Two doelings and a buckling which we were so blessed to get for free
because of a simple problem (cryptorchidism – check it out on wikipedia.)
We are praying it won’t be genetic because he 
promises to be a wonderful sire for our herd.
The picture above is of one of the little girls we got.

This is the ten week old buckling.
Saanens are a lot larger goats than we are used to!
This boy is huge! At ten weeks he must weigh 60lbs or better.
And, Lordwilling, he’s going to get a lot bigger.
His mother weighed in at 200.

These are the three of them….one of them is hiding!

Earlier this week we moved our chicks down the hill. 
It was a long, hard, hot day!
But we’re thankful to have them moved out of the brooder/well house,
and into the open air. 
We lost three that night to a coon/possum, though….so there’s pros and cons to everything!
We set the trap and over the course of two weeks have caught 
two coons and a possum. 
We also went ahead and got 55 more chicks from a lady in a town 
near by us.
They’re not as healthy as we’d like, but we’re praying 
for them and treating them for respiratory problems. 

We said goodbye to the only two remaining yellow lab pups we had. 😦
That’s sad.
But I feel like they’ve gone to good homes – so we’re thankful
to the Lord Jesus for that!

The hay was baled up and stored on Thursday, 
and now the field needs fertilized so it’ll produce more next 
cutting.
And then….
it finally happened….
and I think it deserves a post of its own! 🙂

Friday Photos

Oh….
I feel completely out of rhythm with blogdom. My computer has always been and continues to be my less-than-favorite object and I dread almost every moment I spend on it. I'd much rather be sitting in my bed reading my Bible or writing than spending time on a machine.
I guess that's why I have a hard time motivating myself to write on my blog – but then at other times I enjoy it so much I want to post every day.
Turn the Page please…..

Friday Photos

This week has been a busy one….and mostly spent from home, too!
Up about 100 miles away in Statesville, NC. We are taking down a deck for the lumber at a home of one of our relatives. The Lord Jesus has richly blessed us with this!
I like visiting Statesville…that's actually where Carra and I were born, and where most of our closest relatives are. I'm not quite sure I'd want to live there again….its a pretty big town compared to our little place! 🙂

Turn the Page please…..

Friday Photos

An Official Explanation;
I was sitting here thinking….April, you need to write a blog post!
But I never write unless I feel the Lord is leading me. (I pray I never do! Only Jesus Himself can be in us the Ability to yield our flesh thoughts and desires to Him – even in simple things like blogging.)
So I was praying too, as I was thinking.
I read some in Amos and thought some more.
Hmmm….

Turn the Page please…..

New Year’s Eve

New Year's Eve – or in other words, the last day of the year – 2011.

I and my family have traveled down quite a road this year! 2011 has been so different than any other year in my life. It has brought about so many changes in our circumstances, thrown us into sometimes unimaginable hardships, at the same time tossing us in changes within our very selves – especially for my sister and I.

I thought…for the end of the year I would post a loooong post of pictures from each month. 🙂

I've enjoyed looking through them, and pray you will too!
Turn the Page please…..

A Morning on the Farm



The sun…just peeking over a corner of the barn roof
Many, O Lord my God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou has done, and Thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee: I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

Turn the Page please…..

Der Garten

Well, spring is time for picnics, Mama’s Birthday (Happy Birthday Mama!), fishing trips, camping…and  gardening! The fresh smell of soil, the beauty of newly emerging plants, the tasty hope of summer evenings strolling through the garden eating tomatoes. 🙂 Bliss! 

Some tomato plants Daddy’s been working on

Our garden didn’t do so well last year but the weather, our land’s position, and a scheduel in the air worked against us. We’re praying it’ll do better this year.
Daddy’s been working hard for several weeks on germinating seeds for the tomatoes, cucumbers, and cabbage, and Monday he went to work with the tiller. He transforms our little red trailer into a greenhouse every year to harden the young plants off and let them get sunlight.
Here are the young plants in the ‘greenhouse’
I’m hoping we can have plenty of vegetables – squash, corn, green beans, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes – ’cause our family cans a lot of food, and because I like to eat it! 🙂
But…we have several ditches to jump this year in our gardening expedition.
1. Not enough sunlight (we live in the woods)
2. Clay soil
3. Chickens
Hmmm…chickens. They don’t sound like a gardening pest but…they are. They eat everything and anything – it’s next to impossible to have a garden with chickens.
So. We have two choices of how to deal with them;

1. Lock up the chickens
2. Fence in the garden
Right now we’ve deffinately decided on the latter. Locking up chickens comes with a hoard of cons that well outnumber the pros. You might get all your eggs in one nest but if a possom or fox gets wind of your communal chicken camp you might find yourself sorry you put all your eggs in one basket! Then there’s the problem with feed – chickens eat less if they’re allowed to forage, which not only brings feed costs down but also brings saturated fat content down in your eggs. Chickens tend to pick on each other when they’re locked up – they get bored and turn cannibal. Yuk! and Ouch! And last, but far from least, you’ve got the trouble of cleaning out that hen pen every week or so – or smelling fleur de hen everywhere you go.
So, we’re deffinately going to fence in the garden. Right now we’re juggling the different fencing options. We had thought chicken wire was the way to go but a friend of ours recently mentioned electric wire six inches from the ground.

Some of our laying hens

Well…hmmm…we fence our goats in electric wire. The chickens tend to avoid it as best they can. But, they’ve become skilled at slipping under it, letting their thick coat of feathers protect them from any shock. Humbug. Think, think!
We’ve almost settled on electric wire, three inches from the ground, with another wire above that about two or three inches, and maybe a third story. We’ll have to see how that goes. If there’s something in the garden the chickens really want they’re likely to fly over any fence we build – uh-oh.
We’ll stick with the fence for now, and find out what we’ll do about flying chickens later!

Happy gardening and may Jesus bless!